We are mindful at this time of year of the thoughts expressed by an 18th century hymn writer: "Hours and days and years and ages swift as moving shadows flee...."
In his hymn, Rhijnvis Feith (1753-1824), went on to write this prayer:
Though swift time keeps marching onward, it will not decide our end.
You will always be our Father, loving God, eternal Friend.
When life's dangers overwhelm us, you will ever be our stay;
Through your Son you are our Father, always changeless, come what may.
In the Year of our Lord 2016
We thank God that during 2016 He has been "our stay" through the help of our co-laborers in ministry, who have so generously given of their substance to underwrite the work of Greenville Seminary. A total of $778,253 had been contributed in 2016 as we entered this final month of the year. Our budget for calendar year 2016 through the end of November anticipated non-earmarked contributions of $797,748. The budget calls for an additional $78,000 in unrestricted donations in December. By the end of this calendar year, our budgeted expenses are projected to total $1.2 million, with 73 per cent (or $876,000) to be covered by general gifts from supporters and the balance by earmarked gifts, tuition, sales, and other sources. These figures illustrate why our Mission 30 year-end financial campaign is such a vital prescription for our fiscal health.
As President Pipa noted last month, we usually receive a critical share of our gifts from late November through December each year. It's somewhat like the "Black Friday" period retailers experience when a major portion of their profits for the year are realized. We, of course, do not see ministry support in such crass commercial terms; nevertheless, this year-end period is a vital time in our ability to carry on with our vital work in the Kingdom of God.
We hope that you will take time to read about Mission 30, our annual year-end financial campaign for 2016, elsewhere in this newsletter. If you are on our e-mail distribution list and/or are a recipient of regular mailings from GPTS, you will be receiving more information about Mission 30 and what your support is accomplishing toward reformation of the church through our work, now entering its 30th year.
Financial Report for November 2016
The tables below indicate our monthly general operating fund financial situation as of the end of November and thus far in the 2016-17 fiscal year.
Actual Income and Expenses:
GENERAL OPERATING FUND – NOVEMBER 2016
Donation Income (Unrestricted)
GENERAL OPERATING FUND – FISCAL YEAR 2016-17
Donation Income (Unrestricted)
Capital Campaign Goal
Long-term Pledges Outstanding
Total Received and Pledged
Monthly Payment (Interest Only)
Donate to GPTS through the PayPal Giving Fund. Giving through this Fund means 100% of your gift will reach GPTS, without the usual processing fees deducted. You can also support the seminary by buying and selling through the eBay for Charity system. So far this calendar year, more than $15,758 has been donated fee-free through PayPal Giving Fund, some anonymously. Thank you so much!
And don't forget to do your online shopping at AmazonSmile. Log on to smile.amazon.com and select Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary as your charity. Or click on the AmazonSmile banner at the very bottom of this e-newsletter.
Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable clients: Click here for Donor-Advised Fund direct deposit. Wells Fargo employees: check with your company about matching gifts to GPTS.
Do you work for a company that offers matching gifts when you contribute to a charity? Why not ask your employer about whether your gifts to GPTS can be matched. Here is a list of some of the top companies that offer matching gifts or reward your volunteer work for your charity. Many other companies do as well, to support employee charitable giving and extend corporate philanthropy.
In 2015, Congress passed a law permanently allowing taxpayers age 70½ or older to transfer up to $100,000 annually from their IRA accounts directly to qualified charities (such as GPTS) without first having to recognize the distribution as income. For more information about this tax-saving option, go here or see your financial adviser. Clients using Donor Advised Funds, including those offered by the PCA Foundation, should read about conditions and limitations on this program.
Remember, gifts to GPTS are tax-deductible and may include cash, securities, property or a variety of planned giving instruments. (The tax deduction is reduced by the fair market value of any premium received in return for a donation.) See here for information about planning your last will and testament with the Kingdom of God in mind.
Most of all, be fervent in prayer that God would provide all that is needed for us to do what He has called us to do in this ministry which the church so badly needs in these uncommon times.
Whether or not you can contribute financially, here is another way you can help the seminary: Spread the Word! Do you know someone that would be interested in learning more about our organization or supporting us? If so, share a link to this newsletter. (Click the tiny "M" e-mail icon at the bottom of this post.) Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary